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OSH Studies, Reports, Testimony

National COSH has compiled studies, reports, and testimony published on critical issues affecting worker safety and health. We are not and cannot be held responsible for the content of these papers and do not necessarily endorse in any way, shape, or form the content, opinions, political views, and any other subject matter contained therein.

The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety, Fall 2015 – Summer 2016.  The yearbook – now in its fifth year -profiles the most notable events over the past 12 months in worker safety and health policies, research, and investigative reporting. Written by Roger Kerson, Kim Krisberg, & Celeste Monforton, and produced with funding from the Public Welfare Foundation.

Lives on the Line: The High Human Cost of Chicken. October 2015 OXFAM report looks at the hazards faced by workers in the booming American poultry business. With videos.

Missed Opportunities: How OSHA Should Ensure Worker Safety in the Fissured Workplace. 2015 paper by Randy Rabinowitz of the Occupational Safety & Health Law Project argues that OSHA needs to adapt its existing policies to meet the new realities of the modern workplace.

Protecting Construction Worker Health and Safety in Ontario, Canada: Identifying a Union Safety Effect. September 2015 study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine concludes: Unionized construction firms compared with nonunion firms have higher no-lost-time and lower lost-time claims rates. Unionized firms may encourage occupational injury reporting and reduce risks through training and hazard identification and control strategies.

Inspections with penalties linked to lower injuries. Institute for Work & Health systematic review on regulatory enforcement finds strong evidence for effectiveness of inspections with fines and citations, Summer 2015.

The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety, Fall 2014 – Summer 2015. An annual report by Kim Krisberg and Celeste Monforton, researchers at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, highlighting the noteworthy activities and publications in occupational health in the U.S.

A Case-Control Study of Airways Obstruction Among Construction Workers. This August 2015 study from Duke University and the Center for Construction Research and Training, published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, found that construction workers are at an increased risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease due to workplace exposures.

Bad Chemistry: How the Chemical Industry’s Trade Association Undermines the Policies that Protect Us. This July 2015 report from the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists reports that the American Chemistry Council lobbies to undermine the science on such workplace hazards as Bisphenol A, flame retardants, fomaldehyde, silica, and spray polyurethane foam.

Work Safety Climate, Safety Behaviors, and Occupational Injuries of Youth Farmworkers in North Carolina. From the American Journal of Public Health, this July 2015 report, based on interviews with youth farmworkers, concludes that youth farmworkers consider their work safety climate to be poor.

Nursing: A Profession in Peril. Public Citizen is releasing a five-part report in June 2015, highlighting many of the health and safety concerns faced by U.S. nurses. Part One, “The Health Care Industry’s Castoffs,” follows the stories the six nurses who were seriously injured on the job; Part Two, “Taking the Burden Off Their Backs,” documents technologies and systems that greatly reduce the risk of injury; Part Three, “Uplifting an Industry?,” reviews the effectiveness of state-based Safe Patient Handling Laws; Part Four, “Pay It Forward,” covers the latest research on risks and best practices for safe patient handling: Part Five, “Little Support from Above,” shows that the healthcare industry consistently opposes regulatory approaches to reducing worker injuries.

Overlapping Vulnerabilities: The Occupational Health and Safety of Young Immigrant Workers in Small Construction Firms. May 2015 report from NIOSH and ASSE discusses risk factors and the implications for the design and implementation of safety programs and OSH interventions.

The Epidemic of Wage Theft in Residential Construction in Massachusetts. May 2015 report from the UMass Amherst Labor Center. Three case studies show that construction firms are engaged in the wholesale and illegal misclassification of their workers as independent contractors.

Making the Business and Economic Case for Safer Chemistry. April 2015 Report for the American Sustainable Business Council and Green Chemistry & Commerce Council makes recommendations for the realization of safer chemistry’s potential for creating business and economic value.

Poisoned Legacy: Ten Years Later, Chemical Safety and Justice for DuPont’s Teflon Victims Remain Elusive. April 2015 report from the Environmental Working Group follows up on DuPont’s decades-long cover-up of the health hazards of C8, the key ingredient in making Teflon.

Patterns of Work-Related Injury and Common Injury Experiences of Workers in the Low-Wage Labor Market. March 2015 Report to the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation from the UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program.

Latest numbers suggest unionized coal mines safer, more productive than nonunion operations. Data analysis from SNL Energy suggests that underground coal mines in Appalachia that have unionized are not only safer but also more productive. March, 2015.

White Paper on Paid Leave and Health. This March 2015 white paper, from the Minnesota Department of Health Center for Health Equity, highlights the links between socio-economic factors and health, and underscores how a lack of access to paid sick and family leave contributes to health disparities.

CPWR Resources on Latino Workers, Young Workers, and Small Businesses in the Construction Industry. LIst updated as of January, 2015.

The Small Business Charade: The Chemical Industry’s Stealth Campaign Against Public Health. A Center for Progressive Reform Issue Alert (February 2015) detailing the close ties between the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy and lobbyists for large corporations and trade associations, and the effect of those ties on federal regulatory effectiveness.

Moving into the Future: Promoting safe patient handling for worker and patient safety in Massachusetts hospitals. A December 2014 report of the Massachusetts Hospital Ergonomics Task Force, which includes National COSH Board Member Steve Schrag.

Latino Construction Worker Resources Collection. This 2014 CPWR report by Kelsie Scruggs of the U.C. Berkeley Occupational Health Program and Michele González Arroyo contains case examples, research and resources highlights, thematic challenges, and potential areas for future research.

New Solutions: Special OHS History Issue. Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, Volume 24, Number 3, 2014. This issue marks the 100th anniversary of the American Public Health Association’s Occupational Health and Safety Section. Follow the links for pdfs of each article.

Bending Toward Justice: How Latino immigrants became safety leaders. This 2014 report from New Labor, Rutgers, and CPWR presents the story of immigrant Latino construction workers: how they were organized through a community worker center, embraced workplace safety and health as a fundamental human right, and became leaders by collaborating with university-based health and safety researchers.

Beauty and its Beast: Unmasking the Impacts of Toxic Chemicals on Salon Workers. November, 2014 report from Women’s Voices for the Earth details the hazardous chemical exposures, the health outcomes, and lack of regulatory affecting salon workers. Includes recommnedations for workers, salon owners, researchers, and policy-makers.

Gaming the Rules: How Big Business Hijacks the Small Business Review Process to Weaken Public Protections. This Center for Effective Government report (November 2014) concludes that the U.S. “small business review process is intended to provide an opportunity for input from genuine small businesses. It should not serve as another avenue for trade associations and their lobbyists to weaken critical public health, environmental, worker safety, and consumer finance protections.”

Air concentrations of volatile compounds near oil and gas production: a community-based exploratory study: An October 2014 article in Environmental Health on study that shows air concentrations of potentially dangerous compounds and chemical mixtures near fracking sites.

The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety, Fall 2013 – Summer 2014. An annual report by Liz Borkowski and Celeste Monforton, researchers at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, highlighting the noteworthy activities and publications in occupational health in the U.S.

Temped Out: How the Domestic Outsourcing of Blue-Collar Jobs Harms America’s Workers. A report from the National Employment Law Project and the National Staffing Workers Alliance, written by Rebecca Smith and Claire McKenna.

Federal Annual Monitoring and Evaluation Reports for 2013. Annually, the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration reviews the 27 state-run OSH programs to determine if they are in compliance with U.S. law and to make recommendations. These most recent reports were released in August, 2014.

Winning Safer Workplaces: A Manual for State and Local Policy Reform. June 2014 report from the Center for Progressive Reform outlines nearly two dozen proposals for state and local policy reform that would empower workers, fix OHS laws, and strengthen the agencies that strive to promote workplace safety.

Airways Obstruction among Sheet Metal Workers Participating in a Respiratory Screening Program and Mortality Among Sheet Metal Workers Participating in a Respiratory Screening Program. These CPWR reports examine the health hazards of the sheet metal industry through an asbestos disease-screening program. (April 2014)

The Differential Effects of Transformational Leadership Facets on Employee Safety. Transactional leadership aims to align the existing interests and preferences of team members and the organization of which they are a part. This survey examines the relationship between Transformation Leadership practices and safety outcomes in construction jobs.  (February 2014)

Securing the Right to a Safe and Healthy Workplace: Improve State Laws to Protect Workers. A report from the Center for Effective Government on the ineffectiveness of whistle-blower protections under the Ocuupational Safety and Health Act. (October 2013)

Safety Culture and Climate in Construction: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice. Researchers and practitioners have identified safety culture and safety climate as key to reducing injuries, illnesses and fatalities on construction worksites. Many construction contractors are trying to improve these indicators as a way to move closer to a goal of achieving zero injury worksites. Unfortunately, neither the industry nor the scientific literature have reached a consensus on how to define these concepts, how they should be measured, or which interventions designed to improve them are likely to succeed. A workshop report from NIOSH and CPWR. (June 2013)

Safety Management in the Construction Industry, Identifying Risks and Reducing Accidents to Improve Site Productivity and Project ROI-McGraw Hill Construction (2013)

The Prevention of Occupational Diseases, World Day for Safety and Health at Work, April 28, 2013-International Labour Organization

Driving Innovation-How Stronger Laws Help Bring Safer Chemicals to Market-The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) February 2013

Safety, incentives, and the reporting of work-related injuries among union carpenters: “You’re pretty much screwed if you get hurt at work”  American Journal of Industrial Medicine, October 25, 2012  

The Price of Inaction: A Look Comprehensive look at the Cost of Inijuries and Fatalities in California’s Construction Industry– Public Citizen Congress Watch, November 2012

The Year in U.S. Occupational Health &  Safety Fall 2011-Summer 2012-By Liz Borkowski & Celeste Monforton, Dr. Ph, MPH (September 3, 2012)

The Price of Inacation A Comprehensive Look At the Costs of Injuries and Fatalities in Maryland’s Construction Industry– Public Citizen (August 2012)

The Next OSHA: Progressive Reforms to Empower Workers  July 2012 by CPR  Members Scholars Martha McCluskey Thomas McGarity Sidney Shapiro and Rena Steinzor and Senior Policy Analyst Mathew Shudtz

The Facts Hurt: A State-by-State Prevention Policy Report-Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, May 2012

Evaluation of the Implementation and Impact of a Massachusetts Construction OHS Training Rule. Cora Roelofs. CPWR Report, June 2012.

Death on the Job Report, The Toll of Neglect-A National And State-By-State Profile of Worker Safety And Health In the United States, AFL-CIO  Safety and Health Department (April 2013)  

WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH: Better OSHA Guidance Needed on Safety Incentive Programs-United States Government Accountability Office (April 2012)

Economic Burden of Occupational Injury and Illness in the United States, J. Paul Leigh, Center for Healthcare Policy and Research and Department of Public Health Sciences, UC  Davis Medical School, MSIC  Davis, CA-December 2011

OSHA  Injury and Illness Prevention Programs White Paper-January 2012

Recessions Are Bad for Workplace Safety, By Jan Boone, Jan C. van Ours, Jean-Philippe Wuellrich, Josef Zweimuller-April 20, 2011

OSHA  Inaction: Onerous Requirements Imposed on OSHA Prevent the Agency from Issuing Lifesvaing Rules, Justin Feldman, Public Citizens Congress Watch (October 2011)

Prevention Pays-Solutions to Help Workers and Business Thrive, Worksafe (September 2011)

What “Right to Work” Would Mean for Michigan-Roland Zullo, Research Scientist, Institure for Labor &  Industrial Relations, University of Michigan-July 2011

The Challenges of Temporary Workers in Mass., Harris Freeman, Western N.E. University School of Law, Sp[ringfield, George Gonos, State University of New York Potsdam, Published by Labor Relations & Research Center University of Mass. Amherst-June 11, 2011

Best Practice Guidance for AWPS-Avoiding Trapping/Crushing Injuries to People in the Platform, Prepared by-International Access Federation-April 2011

1911 to 2011: In Memory of all of the workers who have lost their lives on the job since The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in NYC, National Council for Occupational Safety &  Health (March 2011)

Right-to-Work Laws and Fatalities in Construction, Roland Zullo, Ann Arbor-Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy, University of Michigan (March 2011)

Lessons Learned Solutions for Workplace Safety and Health, David Kriebel, Molly M Jacobs, Pia Markkanem, Joel Tickner, University of Massachusetts Lowell (January 2011)  

The Economic Burden of Occupational Fatal Injuries to Civilian Workers in the United States Based on the Census of Fatal Occupational, Elyce Ann Biddle, PhD., Paul R. Keane, MA, MBA- DHHS, CDC, NIOSH (February 2011)

Preventing Injuries &  Deaths from Skid-Steer Loaders, NIOSH Alert, (December 2010)

Preventing Falls From Ladders in Construction, Melissa J. Perry and Christopher J. Ronk, Harvard Shcool of Public Health, Dept. of Environmental Health (2010)

Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk. 2008-2009 Annual Report -President’s Cancer Panel

A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Training & Education for the Protection of Workers. Robson L, Stephenson C, Schulte P, Amick B, et al. Toronto: Institute for Work & Health, 2010; Cincinnati, OH: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2010-127.

The Cost of Fatal Injuries to Civillian Workers in the United States: 1992 – 2001, Elyce Anne Biddle, DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 2009-154 (August 2009)

Workplace Safety and Health: Enhancing OSHA’s Records Audit Process Could Improve the Accuracy of Worker Injury and Illness Data, GAO-10-10 (October 15, 2009)

Fractures in the Foundation: The Latino Workers Experience in an Era of Declining Job Quality, Catherine Singley, National Council of La Raza (September 2009)

Employers with Reported Fatalities Were Not Always Properly Identified and Inspected Under OSHA’s Enhanced Enforcement Program
U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, Office of Audit, Report Number: 02-09-203-10-105, March 31, 2009

Expert Forecast on Emerging Chemical Risks Related to Occupational Safety and Health, European Risk Observatory Report
Emmanuelle Brun, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (March 2009)

Breaking the Cycle: New Approaches to Establishing National Workplace Safety and Health Policy
ORC Worldwide (November 2008)

Prosecuting Worker Endangerment: The Need for Stronger Criminal Penalties for
Violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act

David M. Uhlmann, American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (September 2008)

Immigrant Construction Workers and Safety and Health in South Florida
Bruce Nissen, Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy, Center for Labor Research and Studies, Florida International University (June 2007)

Five Chemicals Alternatives Assessment Study
The Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute, University of Massachusetts Lowell
(June 2006)

Making OSHA Inspections More Effective: Alternatives for Improved Inspection Targeting in the Construction Industry
David Weil, Boston University School of Government and John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Testimony of AFL-CIO Health and Safety Director Margaret Seminario on the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2008 (H.R. 6594) July 31, 2008

“Dirty Dozen” Report: a 2006 report by the National COSH revealing the worst behaving companies in the U.S. regarding worker safety and health.